Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00139
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: December 8, 1974
Frequency: completely irregular
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note: Includes supplements.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000329131
oclc - 03123637
notis - ABV8695
System ID: UF00072147:00139

Full Text

16' A
^ .^ i~F'?iN ~'-it\ h '




'PARLIAMENT' means a
place for parlay or dis-
cussion. Yet in 1970
when 30,000 people
marched the streets, the
army mutinied and school
children and housewives
joined the February
Revolution, no whisper
of these happenings was
allowed to disturb the
dust in either chamber of
our "democratic" parlia-
ment. Not one of the
honourable Members,
paid to represent the
people, felt it to be his
du-ty-tr-Ta-se for discus-
sion matters of such
urgent public importance.
In any Parliament worthy
of the name, such silence
would be unthinkable. Not
only independent and opposi-
tion Members but indeed the
backbench members of the
Government itself would have
demanded from Government
Ministers an immediate
account of how matters had
been allowed to reach such a
pass and what steps the
Government proposed to take
to reconstruct the society.


But our Parliament slept
on, ignoring the reality of
politics and taking refuge in
the minutiae of administra-
tion; undoubtedly during that
period certain organizations
were granted leave to incor-
porate themselves, certain
parcels of Crown lands
changed hands, certain adjust-
ments were made in the word-
ing of legislation of little
interest to anybody.
In other words, it was
business as usual even in
the midst of rumours of
Government Ministers taking
refuge in the Hilton Hotel
and preparing money and
transport for a hasty
So the Parliament of the
People was established in
Woodford Square as Parlia-
ments always are established
whenever and wherever citi-
zens gather to speak their
minds on matters of public
importance. In just such a
way was the Magna Carta
drawn up in 1215.
Unhappily for Trinidad



and Tobago, the Parliament
of the People in Woodford
Square lacked the structure
and the plan necessary to
translate the vision of the
people into a Bill of Rights
for our deliverance or
mobilize a mob into an army
of citizens committed to a
plan of action for change.
Parliament without politics
is administration it ignores
the people's needs. Politics
without plan is rhetoric it
betrays the people's trust. So
the flowers faded and the
people retired into a sullen
silence, ignored by their
leaders on the right.andL dis-
appointed by their leaders on
the left.

And the so-called political
leaders have still not under-
stood the urgency of the
message so clearly given by
the few who sacrificed their
lives and the many who with-
held their votes: that message
is that Politics and Plan must
be re-united in a new Parlia-
ment whether that Parlia-
ment starts with a Constituent
Assembly called by the Devil
himself qr a revitalization of
the zombies sitting in the
Red House.
Tapia is prepared to dis-
cuss the people's business in
either place. The place and
the convenor matter no more
than did the organizational
arrangements for the Clay/
Foreman fight. What matters
in the final analysis is the
matching of man against man,
idea against idea and the
willingness of each partici-
pant to put his political life
on the line every time the
bell sounds. Cowards do not
enter such a ring. Nor do
gone-to-seed boxers who have
shirked the hardwuk of train-
ing sessions.


Those so-called political
leaders who refuse to debate
on matters of urgent public
importance cannot. escape
the charge of being both
cowards and shirkers.
This applies with equal
force both to those who
refuse to discuss the issue of
Constitution Reform outside
of Parliament and those

within Parliament who refuse
to discuss the price of food,
the chaos in transport, appal-
ling health services and the
deprivation under which the
majority of people exist.


They are in fact the same
issue: a constitution is noth-
ing more and nothing less
than management contract
drawn up by a sovereign
people to facilitate the
smooth running of the affairs
of their society.
When that society has
been brought into moral and
spiritual bankruptcy, when
there is no longer any trust
not only in those governing
but in the machinery of
government itself, then it is
too late merely to think of
changing the political
It is true that they must
be thrown into the dustbin
of history but equally urgent
is the need to rethink the
entire structure of Govern-
ment so that future managers,
no less human than their
predecessors, can never again
so mismanage our affairs or
muzzle the sovereign people.
This is particularly true in
a society such as ours where
even the contract itself was
drawn up by the Politicians


The connection between
current issues like water and
transport and constitutional
issues like the role and com-
position of the Senate was
vividly illustrated at Tuesday's
sitting of the Senate. Tapia
had sought leave under Stand-
ing Order 11 to have the
Senate discuss the urgent
problems listed in the Resolu-
tion reproduced on this
The President of the
Senate, who has the sole
discretion for permitting
debate on any but govern-
ment-introduced business,
ruled that matters such as
high prices, transport, water
etc. were (a) too numerous
and (b) too long-standing to
qualify as "a specific matter
of urgent public importance."

Ivan Laughlin

WHEREAS the country is facing an intolerable escalation in
the cost of living occasioned by prices rising at an unprece-
dented rate 25% over the last year, food prices by 30% and
by money incomes having also risen significantly this year -
meaning an increase in purchasing power at Christmas time
when prices normally rise sharply;
AND WHEREAS the failure of government to institute
proper long term planning in the winning and distribution of
water has led to chronic incapacity of W.A.S.A. to meet
normal demands;
--- --AND WHEREAS the chaotic distribution system and
inefficiency of W.A.S.A. guarantees undue hardship and
inequitable distribution with some areas favoured and others
deprived for days, Weeks, even months;
AND WHEREAS there has been no expansion in road
facilities along the Eastern corridor for over ten years and in
any event no expansion at all commensurate with the
increase in vehicles;
AND WHEREAS traffic congestion has now reached
chaotic proportions;
AND WHEREAS public transport is wholly inade-
quate for school children and commuters generally;
AND WHEREAS these things add up to a matter of
grave public distress and importance.
BE IT RESOLVED that the Government take
immediate steps to formulate and implement a constructive
(a) to improve the public utilities .
(b) to prevent any further fuelling of inflation
(c) to protect the standard of living of the country
(d) to expand the welfare sector.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this emergency
plan contain the following measures:-
PRICES i) excess profits tax to be levied on
businesses public, private and unincor-
ii) an upper limit be set on distributable
iii) a compulsory savings scheme be instituted
for all those incomes above the national
WATER permanent rationing system to ensure that all
areas get same ainountl per head
TRANSPORT that within the limits of the existing
road system and the available vehicles in the
public and private transport system, immediate
steps be taken to rationalize public transport
with a view to relieving congestion on the roads,
reduce the wastage of time and discomfort
and encompassing such steps as:
i) immediate staggering of working hours
with starting times 6.30 9 a.m. and
finishing times 3 5 p.m.
ii) a comprehensive system of traffic con-
trol incorporating lay-bys, no-stopping
zones for taxis, one way streets off and
on to tie east west corridor, improve-
ment of traffic flows at points of
concentrated traffic e.g. the Croisee
iii) incorporation into thle public transport
system of certain ta\is and private nini-
buses to serve partictl.ir feecdcr routes
iv) immediate imeasulres to ensure that the
situation in which a;n excessive 11number
of buses are in disrepair be remedied
v) the gas subsidy be removed but tli at
taxis and vehicles involved in public
transport continue to obtain gas at the
present price.

25 Cents


ON Thursday November 28,
at the Hilton Ballroom. Tap.ti
Secretary Lloyd Best
delivered the feature address
at the luncheon to mark the
opening of Life of Barbados
in Trinidad. Here is rihe press
summary of his address.

THE festive season apart,
I see six factors imping-
ing on.the fortunes of the
insurance business at the
moment making lucky
seven in all.
The first of course is
inflation; it looks as if prices
have gotten turpentine in they
tail. But as the value of
money tumbles, and savers see
their assets jumping up in
steel-band, the real value of
the liabilities of the insurance
companies become corres-
pondingly lighter. One man's
poison, the Insurance Com-
panies' meat.
The second factor is the
oil bonanza. Since Trinidad
& Tobago won the lottery
about a year ago, money
knocking dog. At least, the
expectations of being rich
certainly knocking dog. It is
said that the Government has
$1,000,000,000 saved up in
the bank. No one knows the
figure for sure but what is
beyond doubt is that Export
Earnings, National Income
and Government Revenue
have all been mounting fast.
And that is good news for
any kind of finance house.
The third factor is the
Movement towards Caribbean
E c o n o m i c Integration.
CARIFTA started in 1967;
now CARICOM is an estab-
lished fact. Our horizons
have been broadening for the
Factor Number four is the
trend towards greater national
control and greater State
participation in all business
including finance, money and


The Central Bank now
presides over the entire field
of money even as commercial
banks seek to localise their
identity (if not their policy),
as new national banks emerge,
as more legislative control is
exercised through measures
such as the Finance Act and
more state institutions such
as the IDC and the DFC and
the ADB take their place in
the scheme of things.
Factor number five is the
constitutional and political
crisis which hangs like a pall
over the entire proceedings.
Until the air is cleared, there
can be no meaningful plan to
tackle inflation, to turn the
oil bonanza to advantage, to
place the Caribbean Com-
munity beyond the experi-
mental stage, to make national
participation and State con-
trol a positive factor for the
people, or even to make the
festive season an occasion of
genuine joy.
Yet the Insurance Com-
panies have to carry on ir-
regardless; and the sixth
factor they must face is the
growth of financial competi-
Competition partly from
the growth of pension funds
as industrial bargaining em-

eins i[


..M S e fr

brace new fringes for the
benefit of workers; partly
from the emergence of a
national scheme of State
Insurance and Social Security
as welfare moves inexorably
towards becoming a responsi-
bility of the public sector;
and partly from the expansion
of the commercial banking
system through the multiplica-
tion of branches even if this
is to some extent, offset by a
decline in hoarding, a
Friendly Society activity and
hopefully, in pawnbroking
and private money-lending.

Yet among financiers, the
Insurance Houses do have
their advantages. In some
ways, they can offer a
financial service which is
more flexible in the face of
individual needs, more able to
adjust to individual circum-
And then the range of
financial instruments which
they offer life or endow-
ment, life or non-life, with or
without profits, etc this
range still allows the policy
holder to make policy loans,
to be in a position for mort-
gage loans and to use his
policy as backing for loans
in banks and other finance
Little wonder that In-
surance is a very thriving
business. The last comprehen-
sive and scholarly report we
have is for 1966 before the
February Revolution .... 66
Companies as against 7 banks.
The profile of Insurance
Companies by Dr. Maurice
Odle in his book The
Significance of Non-Bank
Financial Intermediaries in
the Caribbean (ISER, UWI,
Mona, 1972) is worth
looking at for a moment.
The following features
stand out. First there are far
more non-life insurance com-
panies than life insurance
companies 42 to 24. But
the business in life insurance
is twice as large as in non-
And then, a few large
firms dominate the entire
business while non-life is
marked by the virtual hege-
mony exercised by foreign
companies largely because,
Dr. Odle suggests, the horizon
is short in non-life business
and the demand for more
personalized, on the spot
business is less in that field.
The spread of insurance in
Trinidad & Tobago is remark-
ably wide. In 1966, there was
one policy for every eight
people in the country. The
average value of policies was
surprisingly low being only
$5,000 as compared with
$8,000 in Jamaica where

domestic product (gross) per
head was only $484 as com-
pared with $730 here.
And what do the Insurance
Companies do with their
funds? On mortgage loans
they invest 46%; on policy
loans 22%; on real estate 5%
and on other loans including
foreign loans 27%. Of course,
they also spend on claims, on
commissions, on management
and administration and on
The Government and the
people of the country are
entitled to ask how efficient
the Insurance companies are?
In the narrow field of
finance, efficiency will be
judged in terms of the return
on assets, the relation be-
tween expenditure and in-
come, the movement of
claims as against the move-
ment of other expenses, the
ratio of premium income to
assured values and the ratio
of taxes paid to the level of
premium income.

Both the Minister of
Finance and the Company
Executives will be looking at
these indicators.
The spokesmen for the
country will be viewing in a
somewhat larger perspective.
At all times, the people
will be demanding that the
policy of the Insurance Com-
panies respond to the cry of

the oppressed for help, help
in the form of a wider spread
of service to all segments and
sections and classes of the
community, help to put our
long-term budgeting in order
in the struggle to regain our
manhood after the ravages of
the colonial past, after the
devastations and the brutaliza-
tions of accumulated dis-


The Insurance Houses will
validate their place in the
scheme only if
they help to raise the level
of national savings and if
they employ their imagina-
tion to direct investment
funds into those areas which
are dictated by the popular
demand for a complete
reconstruction of the econ-
omic foundations of our
country to meet the clamour
for full employment, for
more popular control of
business, for more equality
and justice.
At this particular moment,
these tasks must be accom-
with an eye on the need
for a West Indian nation and
a Caribbean Economic Com-
with a view to the buffet-
ings of spiralling inflation;
in the context of the pos-
sibilities created by our
colossal revenues from oil;

against the background of
the need for national control
and more State intervention
and above all,
sympathy with the
impatience of the people over
the political and constitutional
I have no doubt that West
Indian Insurance men have
the resources to meet the
perils of this awesome res-
ponsibility. It is said that
Insurance men can handle any
situation; they mouth sweet
too bad; they are the con-
men, the smartmen, the
stuntsmen, the sweet-talkers
and the jaycee jugglers par
excellence. They can sell any-
Well that is their work and
I don't grudge them. I only
warn them that these are the
days when an irresponsible
exercise of salesmanship is
certainly to meet a Waterloo
- or is it a Watergate?
I welcome the Life of
Barbados Limited into the
fold of responsibility certain
that their presence, will raise
the general level.





-F~r -I---I

SYou always

S| Iwanted her

i. sew...


makes it eas:

fIand an ideal

Gift too.



U UI~ j~ i







Liberation and Libido

IN a note on the pro-
gramme for his Joker of'
Seville Derek Walcott
defends himself against a
possible charge of vul-
garity for using the folk
forms of calypso, drums
and dance as adjuncts to
the play.
He must have known,
however, that no one would
aim such a criticism at him,
of all people, for all theatre-
goers here know and applaud
the success he has had in his
efforts to blend folk music
and dance with the poetry
of hil dialogue.
What he does not try to
defend, but what could use
some defence, are the pop
ballads he and Galt Mac
Dermot, the composer of the
music, saw fit to insert as
The ironic commentary
of calypso, the ritualisation
of dance and drumming,
deepen and extend a play-
wright's statement. Pop
trivialises it. Instead of com-
municating emotion, it
packages it and slings it in
sticky lumps across the foot-'
The themes of the songs
act as points of resolution of
the themes of the play, and
can only be accepted as such
if the latter are equally
What you then have, not
to put too fine a point on it
is .erhmaltz.

Which is OK in its place. I
am not a highbrow and I
don't care if Cervantes turns
in his grave every time some-
one sings 'To Dream the
Impossible Dream'.
The difficulty is that if
you have Man of La Mancha
you don't have Don Quixote;
and vice versa.
In Joker we ended up with
both, and the conflict of
levels was a strain. I felt as if
I were seeing two shows at
the same time.
A good illustration is the
character of Octavio.
In Joker, by the time
Octavio is made to sing the
'Divina Pastora' lyric which is
the musical highlight of his
part, the poetry of the dia-
logue has already built his
character and his emotional
situation to a complexity at
that moment which far sur-
passes the song's attempts at
Besides, there are simply
more themes in the play than
fit into a musical production
- the theme of Juan's basic
preoccupation, the unreality
of life; the theme of nature
and civilisation as rival crea-
tors of beauty and content-
ment, and the role of religion
as mediator between them;

the theme of history repeat--
ing its errors; the theme of
mental slavery, men's as well
as women ,.
This is why so many of
the audience had the feeling
of things slipping past them
as the production developed.
Walcott has never been
able to resist an incidental theme.
It must be admitted,
though, that author-director,
cast and orchestra succeed
magnificently in the 'seam-
less' transitions from dialogue
to music and dance.
The arena production was
an indisputable triumph from
the point of view of pure
stage technique. Statues and
fountains slid on and off,
imaginary horses galloped
across the -stage, groups cds-
solved and re-formed with
the same smoothness as
dialogue flowed into song and
back again.
Our attention was wrench-
ed from one scene to
another, within the compass
of the playing area, by violent
and instantaneous contrasts
of movement and immobility,
sound and silence.
Tirso's original Juan is a
libertine nobleman whose
contempt for the prospect of
retribution and whose courage
in facing it constitute his
His callousness is part of
the degeneracy of the aristo-
cracy and of feudal society
in general, so that the un-
-FF f f6i -

possibility (which are all
repaired in the end anyway)
are implicitly attributed as
much to this degeneracy as
to the individual character of
If society hadn't invented
honour, Tirso implies, women
couldn't be deprived of it by
mere persistent lechery. And
part of our admiration for
Juan is admiration for man's
defiance of cosmic forces and
his compulsion to travel
paths prohibited to him.
Tirso, writing in seven-
teenth century Spain and a
churchman himself, could
only suggest this.
Mozart's librettist Lorenzo
da Ponte, a practiced libertine
himself (A Jew turned
Catholic, he celebrated his
conversion by abducting a
nun from a convent) invites
us to sympathise with his
rather harassed and frus-
trated lecher (Don Giovanni
dosen't, in fact, get his end
away even once in the opera
- an opera without a score,
you might say); but the
atmosphere of the work is
largely dominated by the
elfin harmonies of Mozart, in,
which the flames of hell
flicker ominously.
On the basis of his charac-

ter as depicted in the opera,
the Don is definitely a victim
of overkill.
Moliere's Juanis anexample
of his repeated theme of
individual moderation. There
is no criticism of aristocratic
society. At the French court
in the seventeenth century,
women could take care of
Walcott's problem of
course is that all these themes
have been overtaken by time.
Heaven and hell don't exist,
so no one fears divine retri-
bution; being an aristocrat
(whatever that may be now-
adays) doesn't help you to get
laid; and conventions about
female chastity are a trifle
less rigorous than in seven-
teenth-century Spain.
The only theme that re-
mains fresh, indeed has been
given a new lease of life in
the 1970's, is the conflict of
the sexes. What Walcott does,
therefore, is to portray Juan
as disillusioned with idle and
wasteful conventions mas-
querading as ideals but in
fact enslaving both sexes.
He is unable, however, to
find an ideal of his own to
replace them. He tilts inde-
fatigably against convention
with the weapon in whose use
he is most skilled. This
naturally makes woman his
A sort of poor man's D.H.
Lawrence, he. proclaims him-
self somewhat halfheartedly a
'force of nature', but he
dosen't really beleve it.
The idea of the male as
the bearer of the life-force is
a reversal of Shaw's handling
of the Don Juan theme in
Man and Superman, in which
woman is shown as the
relentless force of creation
manipulating the shrinking-
violet role attributed to her
by society in order to track
down her prey while allowing
him all the time to believe he
is the hunter. The male for
Shaw is the vehicle of
spiritual, not physical evolu-
The result of Walcott's
portrayal of Juan is the
rather startling concept of the
ravisher as liberator of woman.
The New World, Juan pro-
claims, is one where there
shall be no marrying or
giving in marriage, but an
even contest between worthy
opponents on the battlefield
of love.
Man's power to hurt
woman is really the weakness
of both, for it confuses life
with dangerous irrelevancies
like war, diplomacy and
formal religion, the religion of
dead stone churches rather
than the living churches of
In the nun's cell to which
she has been condemned as

Denis Solomon

a result of Juan's assault
Isabella comes to understand
the truth of Juan's belief. A
rebellious type at the best of
times, and not one to allow
herself for aye to be in shady
cloister mewed to appease
the pride of any man, be he
father, husband or lover,
Isabella emerges to proselytise
her sisters in a way that
bodes ill for the unliberated
husbands they are eventually
to marry.
But Juan's philosophy is
in his head and his balls, not
in his heart; so he himself is
not redeemed by it, and the
chill that freezes his breast
when the statue of Gonzalo
grasps him by the hand is his
own failure to allow love to
develop in him. So he dies an
unlikely and unwitting instru-
ment of Women's Lib.
It is impossible to single
actors out for praise in a
production so full of profes-
sionalism. But there is still
one area where few of the
company are professional
enough. It is that of speech.
Joker is certainly a produc-
tion worth seeing twice, but
it is annoying to have to see
it twice in order to hear it
once. Especially if you don't
always like what you hear.
The arena staging, in which
as often as not the actors'
backs are to the audience,
dosen't help to-overcome the
effect of gabbled lines. And
those who go to a verse play
for the pleasure of hearing

English spoken have the
right not to hear it butchered.
This, as I have explained
ad nauseam, has nothing to
do with West Indian pro-
nunciationr It has to do with
the sporadic substitution of
West Indian pitch-based
rhythm for English stress-
based rhythm -in the inter-
pretation of the meaning of
English sentences. Even
established members of the
company are not immune
from this.
Not that pronunciation
was perfect either. Couldn't
we please have You-LISS-
eez instead pf YOU-liss-eez;
Naw-SICK-ay-ah instead of
NOWsicka; de-rye-sive instead
of de-riss-ive?
And though it's fine to
adapt Spanish words for ease
of English pronunciation, like
substituting 'Catalinion' for
CatalinON and TIS-be-a for
TisBAYah, do we have to be
thrown out of Tirso and into
Chekhov by hearing Ana
called Anya?
If you're going to change
a Spanish word whose pro-
nunciation is practically iden-
tical to English, why not go
the whole hog and call her
Do all these little things;
proofread the programme so
that you do Moliere the
courtesy of spelling'his name
right somewhere in it; and
above all, when you are faced
with a line of English verse
or prose deal with it as such;
and for my part you can
leave the songs to take care
of themselves. Very few
people in the cast can sing,






fourth anniversary



down to

down to

- $9.99


- 9.99

y 'p Aao/ ZeMme ae a//-/*- g

1 ED: o t



0o i -


THE latest production of
Savacou Publications Ltd.
to reach us from Jamaica
is a booklet with the
title Retamar, Revolutionary
Poems. What is offered is
a selection of poems by a
Cuban writer translated
and with an introduction
by J.R. Pereira, Lecturer
in Spanish at the U.W.I.,
Mona Campus.
It must be admitted that
there are certain simple yet
important ways in which the
introduction is less than help-
ful, because of what it takes
for granted. Since the average
West Indian reader has such
little opportunity to read the
works of Cuban writers in
translation, it might have
been in order for us to be
given some of the reasons
why out of the large group
of Cuban writers, Roberto
Femandez Retamar's work
was chosen as the single
subject of a monograph
Is it that he is so represent-
ative and significant a poet in
post-revolutionary Cuba that
to see a sample of his work is
to be put in touch with the
highpoints of modern Cuban
Pereira makes no attempt
to assert any such thing and
in fact would be hard put to
do so. Reports from Jamaica
suggest that the choice of
Retamar was dictated by the
fact that he was scheduled to
visit the Mona Campus to give
some lectures.
Unlike the Trinidad govern-
ment, the Jamaican, Barbad-
ian and Guyanese govern-
ments have shown interest in
establishing cultural links
withCuba, have sent repre-
sentatives in to talk on
cultural matters, and Reta-
mar's visit to Jamaica is part
of the feedback.
Retamar is an important
figure in Cuban cultural life,
editor of a very fine journal,
Casa de las Americas, with a
number of creditable essays
on modem Latin American
culture and poetry. We are
told this on the back cover of
the pamphlet.
My own view is that we
might have been told other
things which Retamar himself
would scarcely have hesitated
to admit; first and foremost
that he moved from a largely
unpolitical position prior to
the Revolution to the ranks
of Cuban marxist-leninist
intellectuals of the sixties,
and that the posts he holds
are due not only to his
intellectual competence,
which cannot be questioned,
but also to his ideological
-The second remarkable
omission in the introduction
has to do with my original
question: How representative
of Cuban poetry is Retamar?
Oddly enough the poet
with whom Retamar is juxta-
posed is Ruben Dario, a

Nicaraguan by birth who died
in the early part of this
century. But if we are to
place Retamar as a socio-
politically oriented poet, we
surely ought to be told how
he stands in relation to the
important Latin American
poets, whose work has continu-
ously had a socio-political
reference in this century.
namely Cesar Vallejo, Pablo
Neruda, and not to leave
Cuba, Nicolas Guillen.
Again not to leave Cuba, I
would suggest that if one
asked who were the three or
four most striking poetic
figures in that country this
century, the names called
would certainly include
Guillen, a portentous, difficult
and remarkable figure by the
name of Jose Lezama Lima,
and that highly controversial
and stimulating personality
Heberto Padilla.
Retamar's poems acquire
their interest for another, if
equally valid reason. One of
the discussion points in post-
revolutionary Cuba has had to
do with the kind of verse and
fiction that might be expected
of a society creating a new
more socially-just framework
under the stimulus of Marxist-
Leninist ideals while threaten-
ed by sabotage-efforts organ-
ized by the CIA.
The answer has tended to
be that what was badly needed
was a morale-boosting form
of literature emphasing parti-
cipatory involvement in the
national effort. There were
two themes which appeared
among poets on this basis:
One, poems which sought
to achieve an epic tone
referring to heroic deeds of
the guerrilla days or resistance
to CIA-organized revolts by
Miami-based Cuban refugees
- the other stresses the more
pedestrian aspects of the
Cuban development effort
such as the literacy campaign
or volunteer school building.
Retamar has stressed the
Today; more than ever
While I help to build this
school with these same
hands that caress you.
These lines are from the
poem "With these same
hands" and somehow seem to
me just a little self-indulgent,
the intellectual patting him-
self on the back a little that
he went out and got a callus
or two on his hands.
Retamar's poems do not
particularly move me and
seem to offer very little that
is really stimulating.
The Savacou editors might
have been better advised to
go for a selection of poems
by various writers, if the
intention had been that of
introducing us to Cuban
verse. The result could have
been more stimulating than
the revolutionary poems we
are offered in this their latest


Lloyd King


Who paint GANDHI green?

Denis Solomon

IN a recent letter to the
Trinidad Guardian a
foreign visitor compli-
mented the city of Port-
of-Spain on the statue of
Mahatma Gandhi which
stands in the little park
off Kew Place, in Cobo
Town. The statue is the
work of sculptor-painter
Pat Chu Foon.
But the city itself dosen't
seem to share the visitor's
admiration for the monu-
Because for a long time
after the statue, which cap-
tures to remarkable effect the
dignity, simplicity and com-
passion of the Indian leader,
was erected in the square it
remained on a small half-
completed plinth, surrounded
by rubble and lacking even a
name-plate in tribute to its
"When my design won the
competition and I was given
the commission to create the
statue' says Mr. Chu Foon 'I
told the municipal authorities
that I would do any main-
tenance or reconditioning
work free of charge forever.
No one ever asked me to do
any, though in fact I did do
some reconditioning once on
my own initiative'.
A name-plate was installed,
the artist says, but contrary
to his advice it was shallowly
engraved instead of being

deeply carved or embossed,
and what with the weather
and the traffic fumes it lasted
no time at all.
There is still no name-
plate. The City Council, how-
ever, has at last bestirred
itself ahd put the statue on a
larger plinth. But it might
just as well have left well
alone, because the statue is
now a monutnent not only to
Gandhi but to the bad taste
of the City Council as well.
For not only is the plinth
painted in the hideous cream
colour so prevalent on con-
crete edifices in this country
(for example, the public toilet
erected plumb in the middle
of the reconstructed Fort
George) but the statue itself
has been painted a vivid shade
of green.
'I was horrified when I
discovered it' says Mr. Chu
Foon. 'I used a number of
quite difficult processes in
the casting of the statue,
which is made of a material
called cast stone. The colour
and texture of the material
are important to the visual
effect of the work'.
Mr. Chu Foon's tribute to
Gandhi is not the only monu-
ment badly looked after.
Only the Cenotaph, our
tribute to those of our
citizens who fell fighting
other people's wars, is im-
maculately maintained. All
the rest. are in varying degrees
of disrepair.

In addition, Mr. Chu
Foon says that he has heard a
report that the present city
administration does not like
the statue, and is planning to
replace it with another one to
be made by a sculptor from
India. 'I may be misinformed
about this' he says. I am
trying to see the Mayor to
ask him if it is true.'
But he finds the present
Mayor, Mr. Lakshmidatta
Shivaprasad, less accessible
than his predecessor.




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THE tree referred to in the title of Ian Mc-
Donald's novel The Humming Bird Tree is a
cassia tree on the bank of a mountain stream
whose yellow blossoms are visited by brilli-
antly glittering humming-birds. This tree is
obviously a symbol of the beauty, brightness
and wonder of childhood. It is described for
the first and last time in a prologue to the
In the morning as we walked up to the mountains we
saw the hummirig birds around it and they gave
delight to the whole day. We clutched the immortal
morning in our hearts and knew there could be no
sourness or disaster or disgusts while the jewelled
birds flew in the air and made lovely bracelets around
the cassia's branches.
McDonald then reveals his inexperience by pointing
out what the reader already anticipates: that in the
evening the birds fly away and a sad and menacing
darkness impends. The story is therefore going to be
about a transition from light to darkness, a conven-
tional boyhood journey away from the fields of
praise, towards the sourness and disgust of adulthood.
It will tell of a loss of wonder, glory and freshness
similar to that in Wordsworth's 'Ode to Intimations
of Immortality" or Dylan Thomas's "Fern Hill".
Beneath the carefully polished glitter and intense
cDonald's rose lies a nostalgia for lost
spontaineity similar to that fotTle-r ng is Y- poet, and a regret for the spellbound magical days of
childhood which Thomas captures so well in the
lilting rhythm and glowing green and gold coloration
of "Fern Hill". As in Thomas's "Fern Hill", too, this
loss of the kingdom of boyhood is connected to the
Christian myth of the Fall from Paradise.


But the humming-bird, in spite of the fact that
several species have become almost extinct in Trini-
dad because of the indiscriminate killing which
occurred in the nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries, is still the most famous of Trinidad's
national birds. Trinidad is still known as "The land
of the humming-bird." McDonald, a Trinidadian by
birth and Guyanese by adoption, has chosen a
peculiarly Trinidadian symbol of the Garden of
Eden. His Adam.and Eve are Alan Holmes, a white
Creole Trinidadian boy of eleven, and Jaillin, the
slightly younger East Indian kitchen-girl of his
mother, who share a first love that is predestined to
fail. The serpent in the Garden is Caribbean history
of race and caste prejudice, the adults who maintain
this history by transmitting it to their children as
gospel, deeper than religion.
Kaiser, Jaillin's fourteen-year-old brother,
becomes the unwitting servant and victim of this
serpent of history. He is yard-boy for the Holmes's
family, and, Caliban-like, is in possession of all the
lore and mystery of Nature. He teaches Allan about
birds, butterflies and the magic associated with trees
and stones. But he is also old enough to resent
Alan's superiority as one who has all the amenities of
life, and who can take for granted his destiny as one
of the ruling elite. Kaiser is sufficiently of the 1940's
generation to admire flashy clothes and dream of
expensive cars, and he is clearly dissatisfied with his
job as yard-boy. Yet Alan's father plans to make
Kaiser into an estate foreman one day, and this
makes the lad anxious to please, and a good hard
worker. Kaiser's mood varies unpredictably from a
[resentful explosiveness to good-natured large-spirited.
ness. On the one hand he offers Alan boyhood as a
gift, on the other he frequently disrupts the already
strained harmony of Alan's relationship with Jaillin,
by harping on the differences of skin and status
between the two. Kaiser knows and Jaillin senses
that with time master and servant will fall into

An Introduction to

lan Mc Donald's

"The Humming-Bird Tree"

by Gordon Rohlehr

their prescribed roles, and Kaiser's almost unconscious
aim is to steel Jaillin against that time, by keeping
her in a state of constant awareness of the coming
Alan's education, the indigestible fruit of the
colonial tree of knowledge, is the initiation which he
must undergo ino the mores and taboos which a
white boy of good class was supposed to observe. As
we have seen, Kaiser plays a crucial role here, by
constantly reminding Alan of his race and destiny to
rule. Kaiser's tone is the resentful tone of the
servant; it bewilders and embarasses Alan. But Alan's
parents are equally powerful agents of the serpent of
Caribbean history. Hs father instructs mainly by
x. xampnle:_______
My father, though so tolerant with the lmen who
worked on his estates and though so well liked by
them, took care to draw a strict line between benevo-
lence and friendship. On one or two of the larger
estates the coloured overseers were men of some
education, but even so my father did not regard them
in the same way as he regarded ordinary business
acquaintances. They did not move in the same social
circle Cocktail receptions for business friends did
not include them. Nor did such overseers resent such
a situation, I gathered; it was a mutually agreeable
relationship, on one side kindness unaffected by airs
of superiority, on the other side respect unaffected
by frustrated hopes of social climbing. (pp. 46-47)
Superiority does not have to be asserted since it is
taken for granted by the ruling elite, and accepted by
their subordinates and even by colleagues from
another race. Alan's parents seek to educate their
son to a point where he too will assume the inherent
rightness of the fixed scheme of things.


But the scheme of things is by no means as
static as Alan's parents wish it to remain. His father
has noted the resentment of the young men on the
estates during the 1937 riots, and the fact that it is
really the older workers who unquestioningly accept
their position and his authority as a matter of divine
Both my parents at times uneasily mentioned that
nowadays unnecessary and uncomfortable changes
were more in evidence; and once they told me that I
might have to live in England when I grew up, though
they never explained to me why. (p. 47)
Alan's parents belong to the class of people who
feared the approach of democracy in the West Indies.
The issue of the Franchise which had been under
debate since the 1888 Royal Franchise Commission,
had come to a head during the early 1940's, after the
Moyne Commission of 1938 which had been
appointed to investigate the root causes of the riots
which had swept the archipelago, recommended a
greater measure of democracy for the islands. The
"unnecessary and uncomfortable changes" referred
to by Alan's parents were the recommendations of
the Franchise Committee of 1941, which presented
its report in 1944. The majority of those who voted
supported Universal Adult Suffrage. These included
trade unionists, members of the black and coloured
professional class, Indian proprietors, businessmen
and political leaders, and even two white Creole
landowners such as Victor Stollmeyer and T.M.

Kelshall; though the latter made it clear that he
supported Universal Adult Suffrage only because he
believed that there was no hope for self-government
in Trinidad for one or even two generations to
come. (1) His liberalism was qualified by a-gradualist
approach to change and the obvious hope that the
Francnise would be used as a sop to the cerberus
of working-class militancy in Trinidad.
Those who voted against the idea of Universal'
Adult Suffrage did not share Kelshall's optimism.
Rehearsing opinions familiar to the student of
nineteenth century British history was a motley
band of conservatives, including Indian nationalists
who believed that the Franchise could lead to Afro-
Creole domination of East Indians, Negro and
Indian landed proprietors and businessmen, who
believed that there ought to be property qualifica-
tion for voters, mulatto professional men, who
wanted change to be slow, and representatives of the
white landed and commercial elite, such as HE.:
Robinson, a sugar baron, and Sir Errol Dos Sanfos,
who worked his way up through the Civil Service
from fourteenth Clerk in 1912 to Colonial Treasurer
in 1933, and Colonial Secretary in 1947 He became
Director of several Companies involved in trade,
industry and sugar, after his retirement from the
Civil Service. (2) These men were supported at most
times by the Chairman of the Committee, Sir
Lennox O'Reilly, a mulatto lawyer from St. Lucia
who was leader of the Bar in Trinidad, lawyer for
the Oil Companies and a Director of The Trinidad
Publishing Company. (3)


The Report of the 1941 Franchise Committee
revealed the shifting loyalties of persons at a time
when Trinidad society was in a process of rapid
social transition. White trades unionists such as the
Portuguese Albert Gomes, and the Trinidad Creole
Quintin O'Connor, voted for the full enfranchise-
ment of the masses. Black social workers such as
Audrey Jeffers and Marcelline Archibald, voted
against. On the other hand Amy Scott, colleague of
both Miss Jeffers and Mrs. Archbald voted for
Universal Adult Suffrage. Mr. H. Meaden, retired
Warden for County St. George and Protector of the
Indians, voted for the Franchise, while George Fitz-
patrick, son of the first East Indian barrister and
Member of the Legislative Council in Trinidad,
voted against. Citrus baron A.V. Stollmeyer voted
for the Suffrage, while super-magnates in agriculture
George Rochford and H.E. Robinson, both of the
white landed gentry, both directors of sugar, citrus
and several other business interests, naturally voted
against it. H.D. Fletcher. General Manager of Apex
(Trinidad) Oilfields Ltd. also voted against Universal
Adult Suffrage.
Class and "ideology" were slowly emerging as
determinants of political behaviour and showed
Themselves capable of co-existing with "race". But
"class" here isn't at all easy to define, and "ideology"
for most of the politicians of that period was little
more than a matter of rhetoric. Only one thing is
sure in all this: the old white exclusive oligarchy
admirably represented by Rochford and Robinson
meant to make as few concessions as possible to the
non-white majority. Success within the exchequers
of real economic power, that is sugar, citrus, cocoa.
oil, banking and commerce, continued to depend on
one's race, family, and connections.
This is why it was so crucially important to
educate the white boy at puberty into cultivllin.t
relations only with others of his own iice. It was 1
way of closing ranks and keeping the real economic

Continued on Page 8




THIS morning I want to extend
welcome to all of you who feel
the gravity of our situation, who
understand the historic role that
we are about to play, and who
can perceive that every ounce of
support is necessary in turning
the scales of destiny in our
I want to welcome part-
icularly those who have wavered
for so long, those who have
strayed from our chosen path,
and even those who have not
always shared our vision because
it is human to doubt, to -be
suspicious, even to be malicious.
It takes greater effort to
return to a position which you
have abandoned, and if we strive
hard enough our doubt and
suspicion shall be illumined, as
was Paul's on the road to Damas-
cus, and we shall experience a
lifting of the spirit as the
disciples did on the road to
Emaus, but we must walk the
road, we must walk the road, we
must walk the glorious road!
It is not where we stand that is
important, but what we stand for.
Some of us will wield power as
politicians, others will make profits
in business, some as public servants
will execute high policy, leaders,
religious and otherwise, will influence
congregations, each one of us brings
to our situation an inscrutable unique
time and spirit dimension. Whatever
our social condition we may yet
serve the higher cause of human
liberation, justice and equality.
Socialists like Jacobs, Millette
and Kelshall, living in much luxury,
but always making an exception of
themselves, will condemn us as
bourgeois. Following Marx they preach
that it is not the consciousness of
man that determines his social condi-
tion but his social condition that
determines his consciousness. What
they slavishly overlook is the impor-
tance of the will in determining the
spirit of the age, the Zeitgeist.
This classic misconception was

most exemplified in 20th Century
Germany. The socialists the Marxists
and the bulk of the workers were all
deceived when Hitler was ordered by
the Intelligence Branch of the Reisch-
wher to take over the German
Workers Party, begun by the lock-
smith Drexler. What the workers
failed to reckon with was that this
grassroot, this drop-out, this tramp
from the flophouses had developed a
consciousness which fed on the
Satanic music of Wagner, on Hauso-
far's Aryan Secret God-Men doctrine
of Lebensraum, and on concepts of
Herrenvolk the Master-Race, based on
Shopenhauer's World as Will and
Ideas to Nietzche's Will-to-Power.
So that Williams does, not
become a socialist because in '56
the author of Capitalism and Slavery
was described by the BBC as "A
bookish bantam, a Marxist Political
Economist of Count." Nor is he an

African socialist because he conducts
Nyerere on a State tour in '74, having
attempted to crush lack Power in
'70. And he cannot become a com-
munist now that he has embraced
Mao; not even if he removed from
the statute book the Subversive Litera-
ture Act which was directed against
Chairman Mao's thoughts.
Not all Ben Primus's association
with Weekes and the working class or
his advocacy of their cause in the
Industrial Court have helped to make
him less of a spokesman for the big
Corporations. That is why I do not go
along fully with the idea of diminished
responsibility in politics in saying that
Williams has been a prisoner of his
industrial policies.


Ultimately he must bear the
responsibility for their failure and for
the failure of the men whom he has
chosen around him. I am belabouring
this point to establish that in politics
as in everything else it is not where
you stand at the moment that is
important, but what you have stood
for all along.
I remember attending a New
World Meeting in the Old Guild Hall in
'63. (James Millette was not there.
The Neo Moscovite might have
been organising PNM meetings still)
Frank Solomon was there, Max Ifill
and Ben Primus, and of course Lloyd
1est who had just coei fromn working
in Guyana where he had founded a
group as he had done before in
Jamaica. Primus was presenting a
paper on oil. The meeting almost
broke up when Lloyd's first comment
was "bullshit!" That was his foresight.
With the wisdom of hindsight some
say he should have called for the
Yes that is how the movement
started sometime in '59 when Lloyd
Best returned to question the validity
of, and to disavow most of what he
had learned abroad, and to lay the
foundation for Independent Thought
and Caribbean Freedom. I do not
know how the West Indian Society
for the Study of Social Issues came to

be called New World. George Lam-
ming once suggested to me that it
might have taken its name from a
radio series called New World and the
Caribbean which he delivered in
Guyana around that time.
That is the movement which
has for two generations articulated the
fears, the hopes and dreams of our
people, which synthesises the intellec-
tual contribution of James and
Williams.. We in Tapia walk in that
proud tradition. The way is haunted
with ghostly men and women who
have lost the will to struggle, or as I
have been discovering of late, who
have so cherished the vision in all its
perfection that they would hate to
see it tarnished; or who have dreafnt
for so long that they cannot rise up
now that the glorious morning come.
So if we stand in the Senate
today we must be judged by what we
stand for. There is no chance of our
assimilating the habits of that dis-
credited talkshop. On these questions
I find that the Holy Bible always has
something to offer. "This house is a
house of prayer but you have made it
a den of thieves!" Christ shouted as he
drove the gamblers from the temple.


We have called it the "lion's
den." Did Christ become a thief by
entering the den of thieves? Was he
legitimating their activity? We have "-"
invaded that house with a bullwhip,
no, with turpentine in their tail to
expose its corruption, and it will be to
the credit of Richardson that he
recognizes that the voice of the people
is the voice of God.
We bring tl;at legitimacy with
us wherever we go. We brought it
from New World into Tapia. We
brought it into the Wooding Com-
mission which the country had begun
to ignore. We brought it in the Great
Debate, and we have survived in spite
of our critics and detractors.
Which other group in the
country has the moral authority to
attack the PSA pay claim as Robbery
with V in the presence of so many
public servants, winning at the same






ECEMBER 8. 1974




time their sympathy, support, and
respect? Who else but Tapia could
have defied the politicians and the
press in converting the Wooding
Commission from the mere tool of the
Executive that it was in the eyes of
so many people into the valid instru-
nent of Constitution reform that it is
seen to be today.


mhe Government had hoped that
the new movement would have boy-
cotted the Commission just as it had
boycotted the Elections. They would
then have put its proposals to the
Commission without opposition. Then
they would have said to the country,
"See how reasonable we are. The
radicals clamoured for change. We
gave them the opportunity, and they
had nothing constructive to offer. All
they can do is upheave and disrupt.
They are subversives who must be put
away. The law must take its course."
At the inaugural meeting in
Arima they came prepared in full
force. But we surprised them. They
avoided the confrontation and subse-
quently decided to speak with one
voice the voice of one randon
thoughts on life in general.
In July '71, writing in Tapia I
asked, "Which will be the Last Straw?
We can never know what straw will
break the camel's back, what spark
will set the people aflame." I went on
-.-u-tSi-Hugh-must understand what
tlus Government means when it
boasts that it has given complete
independence to the Constitution
Commission which he heads. No dead-
line has been set for the report, and
there is no guarantee that such a
report will be accepted. The Prime
Minister will still decide. That is why
he has charged his Minister of State,
Cuthbert Joseph, with the responsibil-
ity for Constitution Reform. So now
there are two agencies dealing with
Constitution Reform. Guess which
one will prevail?"

I understand that the Prime
Minister announced in his latest
broadcast that Constitution Reform is
a matter for the Prime Minister's
office. In the early years when he was
invoking the cry of Jefferson and the
American revolutionaries, and collect-
ing signatures for his famous memorial
Constitution Reform was not a matter
for Albert Gomes and the Colonial
Secretary. It was the right and duty of
a sovereign people.
The fact is that Williams and the
PNM have found themselves in a
position similar to that of Albert
Gomes 19 years ago. They need to
buy time. Already they have post-
poned the local government elections,
and the Election and Boundaries
Commission are busy carving his con-
stituency in Port-of-Spain out of exis-
The one difference, and a major
one, is that they control the Treasury,
the Army, and the Police. Gomes
might have been physically inflated,
but if you read Inward Hunger you
would realise how more infinitely
inflated Williams's ego is. He had
Ulric Lee, but we have Hamlet Yaxie
Joseph as the pin to prick the balloon.
Walcott, the poet has predicted.
Not Gros Jean or Mi Jean, but it is Ti
Jean who "go bring down Goliath."

Even like Shakespeare's Hamlet. Yaxie
is resolved to bring the king to justice
for pouring so much poison in the
ears of his suffering people.
We have been giving this country
political leadership since '68. The
Rodney March which was the precurser
of the marches to Shanty Town and
Chaguanas, really reminded the popu-
lation of an effective political device
which it had almost forgotten during
the cultural and spiritual throwback
of the PNM era.
It was a throwback not only
because the calypso has lost a vitality
which Shadow's Baseman brought
back, but as a boy it was common-
place to see the women in plaits and
canerow until the PNM women ushered
in an era of straight hair.

That Rodney March was led
principally by Granger and myself. It
was only yesterday that Ramreker-
singh who has played a bigger role
than he gets credit for, reminded me
of that fateful day when the students
assembled in all their multitude in
front of the Old Guild Hall, now
Daaga Hall. There was no microphone.
You had to speak in the wind. Even
Granger panicked. They came to call
me to address the crowd. I repeat
this not in boast but to show huw
wrong have been the assessment that
we are ivory-tower, armchair men who
cannot-TInrmnicate, oT wmio nicre
afraid to engage a crowd. It was
Ramrekersingh who .shouted; Out!
Out! in the face of Michener, the
Governor General of Canada.
We in Tapia seldom speak in
terms of crowds and masses of face-
less people. We say the opposite to
Hitler "we have come to develop the
strengths of men, not to exploit their
weaknesses." At the heights of
Granger's glory on Campus I chal-
lenged his type of leadership and
pointed out the shortcomings. He has
never forgiven me although we remain
But the students know in their
hearts that if they had the courage
to act the course of '70 would have
been different. When Lloyd was
invited to speak in the square on the
Rodney Affair he refused because the
other speakers had created such a
mood that the issue of intellectual
freedom could not have been honestly
death with.
Mr. Richardson might have been
considered to be a man of straw. But
history may record him as the straw
that broke the camel's back. He has
enabled us to seize the historic
opportunity of dealing the final
decisive blows to the regime on their
own ground.
It took the wisdom of Ulysses to
see the strategic merit of the Trojan
horse being drawn quietly, into the
enemy camp almost through the
backdoor. Militants such as Archilles
and Ajax would never have under-
stood it though they had been fight
ing for ten years- outside the wall.
Revolutionaries must be capable of
judging the material situation at a
given historical moment. What is that
Williams had no intention of
attending to the constitutional ques-
tion. His constitution is the present
one drafted by Clarke with the list of
repressive legislation appended.
Together they make up Hudson-
Phillip's Public Order Bill. There may

be a lull now. But don't forget these
"dragonish claws" are still there. We
forced him to make the concession of
appointing Wooding. Wooding I am
beginning to think must -have had
some premonition of his death. "I am
done," was his parting words at
Chaguaramas, "in more ways than
In his own way he tried but
his/brilliant legal career must have
given him an extraordinary respect for
terms of reference. We must not
grudge a man his integrity. It is we the
people who failed to come out in
support, DAC, NJAC and all the
others, who failed to provide the
mandate that would have persuaded
his Austinian mind that the soveriegn
command rested with our assembly.
But the assembly was not constituent
enough. The whole country is crying
for constitution reform, and these
leaders will not respond. They are
imposing a false consciousness on the
Some of our friends contend
that we should have put the question
of our going into the Senate to the
public. They mean us well. We hope
to convince them that matters of such
delicacy and diplomacy are not always
easy to publicise in advance. Time and
the sensibilities of the negotiating
party are often of the essence. As for
the public response it is the DAC,
and our conventional detractors who

would have been most vocal in the
media. The vast majority of the
people who we stand for would not
have been heard.
The material situation is that
Williams and the PNM have had the
good fortune of trerpendous oil
revenues with which they hope to
bribe the entire population, and to
literally remove the capital from
Port-of-Spain to Point Fortin, the oil
metropolis of the Caribbean.


This means jobs, handouts,
patronage on an unimaginable scale.
They have abandoned all pretenses to
democracy, and intend to bulldose
they way through. In their Constitu-
tion Committee report they have
emphasised the need for emergency
regulations. They intend to ram their
constitution down our throats.
In his Convention Speech of
September '73 Williams was thinking
of harking back to the ideals of'56, of
morality in public affairs, declaration
of assets etc. He was prepared to
attack the multinational corporations.
Came the Energy Crisis, and he has
forgotten all that. He is back in the
arms of his paramour, the Big Cor-
porations, Amoco and Kaiser and the
perfidious lot. He will sacrifice a few
scapegoats in the Civil Service, and
press on his collision course. He is
doubling the size of the Army and the
We are holding our destiny in
our hands, and by a supreme mani-
festation of will, surging through the
blood of 500 years we are determined
to save this country from this threat.
If Castro was prepared to accept
arms from the CIA to get rid of
Batista in the face of overriding
disaster History will absolve us if Lt
turns out that we were wrong in
accepting the invitation of Richardson,


James Millette Lloyd Best Vernon Gocking Dennis
Forsythe Fitz Baptiste Vaughan Lewis

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From Page 5

power of the country flowing in a closed circuit,
which no outsider could penetrate unbidden. As Alan
Holmes reveals, few outsiders ever were invited.
Alan's parents are so conscious of the need for
keeping their circle closed that for them there are
only two real alternatives: white supremacy, ot
escape to England.
Hence Mrs. Holmes's gentle insistence that
Alan plays with "his own" friends. This was to
prepare him for his future role as a controller of
social and economic power. If Alan cannot learn
while young to preserve the necessary distance
between himself and the yard-boy, he may not be
able when an adult to preserve the even more
crucial distance between himself and non-white
Creoles on the make, and seeking entree into the
power elite. This is why the relationship between
Alan on the one hand and Kaiser and Jaillin on the
other needed to be destroyed; and Alan's first love,
which would probably have run its course if left
alone, is converted into a rigorous rite de passage,
after which Alan uneasily adjusts himself to his
prescribed role as a'member of the ruling oligarchy.


The story, part of which may be autobio-
graphical, takes place over a period of time which
corresponds roughly to the years of McDonald's
boyhood. Alan can remember his mother's terrified
reaction to the island-wide riots of 1937. (p. 46)
These disturbances were used by many conservatives
as an argument against widening the Franchise.
McDonald, who was bor in April 1933 would have
just turned four years at the time, and may have
retained an impression of those traumatic weeks of
upheaval. Alan's father is "agricultural supervisor of
estates belonging to one of the largest companies in
the island." (p. 45) These estates grow citrus, cocoa,
a little coffee, rubber, bananas and tonka beans. He
also own citrus fields himself. (p. 172) McDonald's
father, John, was also an outstanding agriculturist.
Born in St. Kitts in 1905, he, like most white youths
whose parents could afford it, received his secondary
education in England. He later gained his diploma in
tropical agriculture at the Imperial College of Tropical
Agriculture, an excellent institution in Trinidad,
whose founders had clearly spelt out their aims of
training white and selected black gentlemen-farmers
throughout the British Empire, for the important
task of maintaining the colonies as sources of raw
material for the industries of Great Britain. (4) John
McDonald worked in the Agriculture Department in
Trinidad for a while, and eventually became supervisor
of an estate belonging to a large company, a member
of the Cocoa Subsidy Board, and a director of both
the Citrus Growers' Association and the Co-operative
Lime Factory. (5) Although a relative newcomer and
man on the make, John McDonald was clearly both
by profession and caste a member of the power
oligarchy. He was the colleague of H.E. Robinson and
George Rochford. Alan Holmes's father is patterned
on him.


Alan Holmes, like his creator Ian McDonald,
plays tennis. McDonald, indeed, captained Cambridge,
Guyana and the West Indies between 1955 and
1962, and was Trinidad's Junior Champion in 1950.
Like McDonald, Alan left Trinidad in the early
1950's to study History at Cambridge. (p. 153)) Alan's
post-university career isn't described in the book.
McDonald returned to work with Bookers' Sugar
Estates in Guyana, history and sugar being virtually
inseparable in the West Indies. He is now a director
of Bookers' Sugar Estates, the Guyana Sugar Produ-
cers' Association, as well as chairman of Demerara
Sugar Terminals Ltd. Like Alan Holmes, he has
become the man his father was, although it may have
seemed at one time that his "life was set on a differ-
ent tack."

It may be fairly accurately surmised, then, that
The Humming-Bird Tree begins some time around
1945 when Alan is nearly twelve and McDonald
would have been about the same age. Its main action
is confined to that year, though Alan later describes
a meeting with Jaillin (p. 146) which takes place
when he is about fifteen (that is about 1948). The
final incidents of the story take place in the early
1950's when an eighteen-year-old Alan is about to
leave for Cambridge. Several allusions fix the dates
in the novel. For example, World War II is hinted at
in Kaiser's reference to "Germans" (p. 100) and
"Mussolini" (p. 105), household words at the time.
There is also the description of decaying morals,
increasing night-club activity and prostitution (p. 61)
which were the result of local entrepreneurs in the






skin trade capitalising on the presence of the large
American military and naval bases stationed in
Trinidad during World War II. Jaillin in becoming a
belly-dancer for some Syrian night-club owner, was
simply doing what many others had been encouraged
or compelled to do in the 1940's, the period when
the modem Trinidad prostitute emerged to replace
the down-at-heels jamettes, from the back-yards of
the city's misery. (6)
There is also reference to the "sage-boys" (pp.
70-71) who were a phenomenon of the 1940's and
1950's. (7) The counterparts of Harlem's zoot-suited
hipsters of the same period, the saga-boys were direct
descendants of the traditional "sweet men", easy-
riding studs who lived off the earnings of prostitutes.
They appear from time to time in novels and stories
about Trinidad, from the days of Mendes and James,
whose Benoit in Minty Alley is a typical sweet man,
to Sam.Selvon's stories about Port-of-Spain's city-
slickers of the 1940's. Kaiser has an early admiration
for the style of these saga-boys, and towards the
end of the book he seems to have assumed some of
their brash loudness and emphasis on gaudy clothes.


The story takes place in definite environments:
St. Augustine, Pasea and Mayaro. Alan's home is
situated on a hill in St. Augustine, one of the then
exclusive areas in Trinidad. It faces the Roman
Catholic abbey shining on Mount St. Benedict, above
which is the "north star, unmoving all year." (p. 29)
It is difficult to say whether any symbolism is meant
here, there being no consistent symbolic'pattern or
intention in the way that the story is told. The
constant northern star may possibly suggest that the
Church's destiny is eternally fixed. There is certainly
not even the slightest hint in this book of the
agnosticism which has generally appeared in West
Indian literature, as a result of writers' perception
of the Church's complicity in some of the least
savoury aspects of Caribbean history. In Trinidad,
the Catholic Church was buttressed up by the
powerful French Creole group, throughout the
nineteenth and for most of the twentieth century.
Together with the Anglican Church, it represented
the plantation system at prayer. Kaiser is later to
join the Catholics because he has accurately observed
that, "Catholics have power to help a man." (p. 153)
Later, too, we see how Alan rehearses some of the
bigotry which he has been taught, when he describes
Catholicism as a superior religion, and Indian religions
as paganism. (p. 105).
McDonald dwells for some time on the
Holmes's drawing-room, the pride of Alan's mother,
who is so "pretty, and clean and happy" as she
displays her cabinet of assorted banality and her
carved teakcolumns to admiring guests. We have been
in this sort of drawing-room before in the novels of
John Heame (8). A Heame-like glory shines from
the highly-polished mahogany table, the great-house
splendour of the dining-room, the delicate China
"ages old", the cut glass bowls and decanters, and,
incongruously, the sword of a great uncle who had
fought in the Boer War. These objects, which the
poet Derek Walcott once referred to as "the rusting
ikon (s) of a withered race" (9) are introduced by a
less sceptical McDonald to suggest the graciousness,
antiquity and gentility to which the white ruling
class aspired in the West Indies.


The drawing-room has lert a lasting impression
on Alan's mind in spite of the fact that it is pervaded
by an atmosphere of still-life. The line is thin here
between artifice indulged in by artificial people and
art whose formal stillness contains such vital energy
and dimension as the artist has been able to explore
in himself and experienced phenomena. Alan's
sensibility is being shaped by his exposure to both
artifice and art. Contrast, for example, the descrip-
tion of all the things in the mahogany cabinet (pp.
30-31) which simply remain mere well-polished
objects, with this description of the cockfight in the

parquet tiles:
This block of parquetry had been designed in the
pattern of two fierce cocks in a fight. They were
meeting in air, their dangerous spurred feet flashing
at each other. The plumes of their tails and their
ruffled neck feathers showed deep purple and green
and velvety red. They were magical; the tropical
colours and fury of them burst up like volcanic lily
at you from the floor. .... I thought this cockfight
marvellous and would step on it tiptoe, softly, full of
wonder. Year in year out, while I was young their
fight never lacked fierceness or perpetual beauty.
(p. 30)
This cockfight is the most vitally living thing in the
drawing-room. It may he compared with the blue-
birds, humming-birds, herons, hibiscus, roses and
poinsettia, carved and brilliantly painted into the
teak columns of the drawing-room. They capture the
boy's imagination and arouse his sense of wonder and
appreciation of beauty as little else does in the book.


One should, however contrast the still vitality
of the cockfight in the parquetry with the real vitality
of the cockfight at the village fete, (pp. 82-88) and
the real emotional response which Alan has to make
to life in the village, with his aesthetic response to
the Palace-of-Art atmosphere of the drawing-room.
Alan is caught between these two quite different
urgencies. He summarises the ambiguity of his
position thus:
Eyes revolted by scraggy-necked cobos rising off a
refuse heap on a beach, greeted in the next minute
the pure green flags of early morning over the sea.
Beggars might walk in rags from door to door of the
rich gothic houses in St. Clair. Hate was just around
the corner from respect and love; goodness and sin
were in the same men hugely contrasted; in seconds
despair might change to merriment. The sun cast hard
shadows straight against bright savannas in that land;
there were no grey declensions in tone. Knowing
Kaiser and Jaillin, I lived the contrasts more intensely
than others of my high-class world. (p. 78)
McDonald attempts to depict these contrasts in The
Humming Bird Tree. They affect his style and tone
in a fascinating way. When McDonald of the drawing-
room ventures out into the world of nature, he
invests it with an ornamental, decorative quality. The
story blazes with colour on every page. An impres-
sive number of birds, trees, butterflies flowers and
shells is described. Yet mucn of this description is
little more than a painted backdrop, by a painter who
seems to be constantly reminding. himself Lhat_..h
must do justice to the tropical landscape.
Lack of restraint in the use of technicolour
mars the lyric effect that McDonald seeks. Lack of
restraint in his handling of detail sometimes destroys
the tension and interest of a scene. For example, the
scene late in the book where Alan meets Kaiser at a
Church Bazaar. All that the reader is interested in at
this point is what the two have to say to each other.
Yet McDonald describes the bazaar in some detail,
introducing new characters and incidents which play
no part in the rest of the story. Such failure to
integrate detail and character into the total fabric of
the story is repeated in quite a different way in certain
"set" passages of deliberately heightened prose which
McDonald introduces, it seems, to create an epic
atmosphere in his story. These passages stand out
because they are almost a word-for-word transcrip-
tion of certain of McDonald's poems. They too seem
to exist mainly for their decorative quality.


For example, in Chapter Three, "The Village",
we are introduced to Freeman the Knifeman. We
never see nim again;he plays no part in the story, yet
two whole pages are devoted to a precise description
of his four knives, as if he were a hero in Beowulf or
Sir Gawain, whose armour is going to play an impor-
tant part in the story. The passage dealing with
Freeman (pp. 66-68) appeared before as a poem in
New World Fortnightly three years before The
Humming-Bird Tree was published. (10) Or one may
take the stickfight between Mangamouche and Placide
(pp. 165-166), almost gratuitously inserted quite late
in the story for the pure sake of recounting a legend.
This passage also appeared as a poem in 1966 (11),
which began with the words, "Our epics begin to
form." It may be that part of McDonald's aim, which
is quite extraneous to his central purpose of depicting
a tropical Fall from Paradise, is simply to create a
sense of epic in a land which, according to Vidia
Naipaul, "denied itself heroes" (12) Hence the dazzl-
ing heraldic colours of red, green and gold, and the
lyrical descriptions of such folk activities as the stick-
fight (pp. 165-166), drumming (p. S3), and hauling
in the seine (pp. 122-125) (which is also the subject
of an unpublished poem).
McDonald's use ot colour and detail may be
contrasted with Jean Rhys's. Her eye always selects
detail and filters it through the obsessed conscious-'

Continued next week


Dennis PanFin

THERE'S a particular
moment in Mario Puzo's
best-selling novel, The
Godfather, where the
Don's son Michael Cor-
leone has to decide which
road to travel.
In a sense he has already
half-made up his mind by
joining the U.S. Army against
the wishes of his father, Don
Vito Corleone, the Godfather.
Returning as a war hero,
Michael enrolls in college and
commits the cardinal sin of
any true-blooded Italian, by
choosing an ordinary Ameri-
can girl to be his wife.
He wants no part of his
father's Mafia operations but
wants to be integrated into
the larger American society
which his father despises so
The dream is interrupted
when his father is shot in a
gang-war with another Mafia
family and Michael goes on
to become the Don, God-
father, after a carefully
orchestrated massacre of his
At the end of the book
and picture one is left with
the question what would have
happened to Michael if he
had become integrated into
the larger American society?
Well, he could have become
Serpico, the honest cop, in
the book and picture of the
same name.
Coincidentally, Al Pacino,
who plays Michael Corleone
in The Codfather. is Paco
Serpico, the honest Italian,
whose life-long dream has
been to wear the royal blue
of the New York Police.
Chafing under the restric-
tions of the clean-cut uni-
formed patrolman Serpico
convinces one of his superiors
that the policeman has to
relate to the scene in the
Donning threads that range
from farmer brown type
suits to Coca-Cola overalls,
and sporting long hair and a
drooping moustache, Serpico
checks out the crime scene,
in-between evening classes
and motor-bike rides with his
Hanging out in his own
pad, going fatat the middle
and slightly bent at the neck,

Super Cop-




Produced by MARTIN BREGMAN -Directed by SIDNI
Screenplay by WALDO qAT and NORMAN WEXLER Based on th
Released by Co;umbia Pictures/A Oivision of Columbia Picture

Scrpictu is noL 1lQL bcsEi
example of a Super Sleuth or
Chief Crime Fighter.
In fact, he pulls up his girl
for introducing him as a cop
to her swinging friends.


Serpico is no more than
an ordinary citizen with a
job like anyone else, with his
own flat, girl, and a love for
Italian music.
An image which dosen't
put him in good graces with
the tough cops down at the
station where he dosen't have
many friends. He has one
flaw he believes the
American dreanof honest

Working the beat he dis-
covers that there is corrup-
tion in the station a
number of policemen are on
the take from businessmen
and racketeers in the area.
His reports go unheeded and
he gets transferred to other
He makes an arrangement
with another policemen,
working on corruption
among the police to provide
information on bobol in the
The film runs through a
series of frustrations where
Serpico and his friend con-
tinue to run into stone walls
at the Mayor's Office, the
office of the Commissioner
of Police, and in their
approaches to several special





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to testify.
Mortally afraid for his own
life, Serpico is literally tor-
t mented and drives the woman,
who he really needs at this
point, out of his life.
AThe grand-jury is held, a
few small fry are thrown to
the wolves and Serpico con-
tinues on his beat knowing
he is a marked man.
On a raid, his hand gets
lanry of stuck in a door and his two
partners watch while his gun
his fellow knifed from his hand and
he is then shot in the cheek.
ff c rs Wounded Serpico is
granted the police Gold shield
skie d^ for meritorious service which
he refuses before limping out
hirr It e of his hospital bed.
Human, afraid and bitter,
A Serpico, the honest Italian,
'OSt iMichael Corleone's other self,
leaves the Police Service and
angerOUS is reported in the film'spost-
script to be now living some-
ian alive where in Switzerland.
Is the film trying to por-
I honest tray the American dream as a
myth? Does it show the good
P. guys and morality at the end
of the water's gate? Or does
Serpico by fleeing to Switzer-
land indicate that there is no
hope for change? Switzerland
is a good symbol of refuge
for the Cop-out, but hardly
an example of reformed
P ICI social morality after all, it
is also the refuge of the bad
EY LUMET guys or at least of their
e book by PETER MAA money.orleones
DR* The Michael Corleones
es s I. .continue to survive, to beat
the system at its own corrupt
game. The police continue to
take bribes for marijuana and
Serpico now has evidence bobol, and to brutalise the
hat most of the police force poor and play games with the
on the take from dope politicians.
ushers, bookies, brothel The film does suggest
eepers and other racketeers certain choices, which are
Unable to get a hearing between Dirty Harry, or
e takes the unwilling step Michael Corleone inside the
f carrying the story to the system, Serpico in no man's
ress. land, or on organiser outside
Mouth open and 'tory of the system. Of a final
rop out! The Commissioner victory for man's inmate
enies, an inquiry is set up social responsibility, there is
nd Serpico reluctantly agrees no suggestion..

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The talented Noble Douglas in Frank Ash

Tapia Reporter

AMIDST the problems
and limitations that con-
tinue to plague the local
theatre scene, there seems
to be some hope for the
emergence of a living
and vibrant stage where
our performing artists
can tind a way to be
encouraged and the con-
ditions under which to




ley "Va-ka-ko"

This hope takes the shape
of the first theatre season to
come to the Little Carib
Theatre in more'than a
decade when the Trinidad
Theatre Workshop opens
with Derek Walcott's "The
Joker of Seville" on Thursday
Nov. 28, through Saturday
December 7.
This will be followed by
the Repertory Dance Theatre
under the direction of Astor
Johnson on Wednesday
December 11 through Sunday
December 15.
It is especially in the last


named company that one minor problems which in-
finds that all is not lost when elude introducing the dance
it nust be taken into con- loving public to working in
sideration that the R.D.T. repertory style.
has only been in existence a Johnson feels that it is
little over two years. chiefly the "Carnival" men-
tality to blame, which in a
STANDARDS nutshell is creativity mixed
with wastage and destruction.
Already the company has How can an artist create
presented three full seasons something beautiful and then
of dance, two joint presenta- dump it to create something
tions with the Trinidad new? Our audiences con-
Theatre Workshop, several stantly demand new things
experimental projects and has from all performers just as
frequently been presented on they expect new calypsoes
T.T.T. each Carnival. With the
What has been all the dance, things must be spelled
more remarkable is the con- out differently.
tinued efforts being made
toward high standards and CLASSICS
artistic excellence. According
to artistic director, Astor In the first place after a
Johnson, this can only be work is created, the choreo-
achieved by the setting up of grapher gets the opportunity
definite programs and exer- to add, substract or polish as
cises within the company, he so desires and the dancers
complimented by interim with continued performances
performances which give the develop and rise to some-
dancers tle real chances to times unexpected heights.
develop. Take our local "classics"
It is in this area especially like Beryl McBurnie's
that the RD.T. has had "Spirite", "Nation Dance",


Buriey Thomas' "Lament"
and more recently Jean
Coggins' "Erzulie";hese like
so many others have gone
with time since no one
recorded or had the means to
acquire them.


It is for this reason that
the artists and audiences of
this country must appreciate
our arts not only for a season
but for as long as they last.
This RD.T. season features
the premiere of "The Song
for Yemanja" a Yoruba
influenced piece with Adele
Bynoe in the title role.
The demanding roles in
""She" and "Va-ka-ko" last
seasons hits, fall into the
hands of the talented Noble
Douglas, supported by old
stagers Austin Forsyth,
Claudia Applewhite, Edison
Carr, Lewt Carrabon, Wilfred
Mark and Micheline Dellavi.
The New World Perfor-
mers, Mau Mau Drummers,
of Clive Alexander's "Gayap"
and Andre Tanker have all
again pledged their support
of the RD.T. this coming
Bookings open shortly at
the Singers Mall. There will
also be a single performance
in Sangre Grande on Wed.
Dec. !8.

Alex Gradussov

NOT so long ago the
catch-cry for the Third
World was Development.
Some still shout the same
slogan. But conservation
is the new idol now.
Conserve fuel mainly,
but everything else will
I am all for it; only I
don't want to be the only
My Prime Minister, for
instance cannot normally
arrive from anywhere in
foreign parts at the Kingston
Airport without being met
by a helicopter.
Similarly my ministers:
even the most 'sufferer
conscious', Mr. Anthony
Spalding, in charge of hous-
ing, cannot make up his mind.
to build one house yet but
still he needs a 'Retreat' at
the Holiday Inn in Montego
Bay to make this leap of
Not content with going
there, he is offended when a
waiter does not treat him
conservatively enough and
says 'pst'. The whole party
moves out. There is no
'retreat' and the taxpayer
is poorer.
Not to be outdone by the
Chief Sufferer, the Mayor of
Kingston, Mr. Brown, has to
have a 'retreat' in the Forum
Hotel, one of the Trust House
Forte chain of Great Britain
that is slowly going broke.
Only Mayor Brown stays
in the hotel for the whole
week-end and then wants two
million dollars to fix up the

city of Kingston. Might have
been able to do that at a
cheaper rate.
The Mayor of Montego
Bay had a'retreat', too. Have
all these worthy gentlemen
pondered the meaning of the
word 'retreat'? It used to
mean a fast to reconcile the
soul with God; to meditate;
not to feast!
Words and deeds in
Jamaica, as elsewhere in the
Caribbean, have a curiously
detached existence. George
Orwell in England was the
first to spot that politicians
said "do" but never did.
We, too, have followed in
the Orwellian foot-steps. The
Agricultural Markefing Cor-
poration lowers prices by
raising them, The Workers
Bank gets rid of its efficient
manager to in. woe opera-
tions. The Cabine f Jamaica
economises b) :x anding;we
have now 22 ministries.
If Trinidad and Tobago is
called the calypso-society
(and/or state), wd are the
West Indian humpty-
dumpties. Anything you say
in Jamaica means almost
always the opposite.
If you say work: you
mean idleness. Currently we
have a crash programme that
is to save us from bloody
revolution, according to our
Prime Minister, but in actual
fact it teaches people that it
a) does not pay to work with
your hands if you can get
paid for 'crash-programme'
work and, b) that one is
better off in search of work
if one can prove to be a
comrade a PNP supporter.
Even the meaning of the
most straight forward opera-
tion can become very differ-

ent in Jamaica. The already
mentioned Agricultural Mar-
keting Corporation workers
decided to go on strike. Well
and good. It was their almost
God-given right to do so.
They were joined by
management. Where else in
the world does that happen.
And naturally the allegedly
low prices of the AMC rose as
soon as the strike was over.
All AMC personnel are happy;
all consumers weep.


Ihe current tad is Social-
ism. From Prime Minister
down (or up if one is cynical)
all and sundry pronounce the
creed. Only the concrete
effort, the real output, is
The PNP party secretary

appeared on TV and made
an ass of himself. To redeem
him Senator and quasi-
Foreign Minister of Jamaica
Dudley Thompson made
another speech and was
almost as asinine about
The PM then put his seal
of approval on it all and
said: "Socialism is Christi-
anity in action". Now we
The Marxist-Leninist front
is not quiet either: their
activistleader Trevor (I drop
the Dr. for ideological
reasons) Munroe, has
founded/initiated/called toge-
ther the masses (mainly UWI
students) and has pronounced
that we need a Marxist-
Leninist Party.
He does not say why

precisely nor which masses
are clamouring for such a
At any rate the efforts of
Iis unions have so far pro-
duced more harm to their
members than good. Does
ihis doughty Marxist-Leninist
not ponder on this aspect of
his activity?
We desperately need men
of action. Men that are
willing (I mean human beings
. women are naturally
included I am no masculine
pig!) to take responsibility
and live with this. What we
got is words. We may even
get some men of action. The
prospects are dim but then
in the darkest hour the
brightest boys and girls do
come to the fore. Let's hope
this happens in Jamaica.



PR O StephensA


Honourable THE Lloyd Best 0
Senators TAPIIA rw
ienat s PAMPHLETS Republic ?
Address to the Senate House ON SALE lic ll
October 22, 1974. L O U lR S j Address atthePublic Library
25 Cents each June 25, 1974

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lirs. Andrea Talbutt,
Research Institute for
Study of Mlan,
162, East 78th Street,
NE YORK, l '.Y. 10021,
Ph. Lehigh 5 8448,
U.S.A. Irrr7


Colin Laird

IT has taken some
$300,000 worth of
salaries to the Chaguara-
mas Development Au-
thority, plus Mr.
O'Halloran's travelling
expenses, plus $400,000
worth of renovations to
the Authority's Chaguara-
mas Headquarters, plus
$445,000 professional
fees (mostly to foreign
sources), plus many inci-
dentals and perks Ic
say a total of One and a
Half Million Dollars -
$1,500,000 to show
Government that the
rubbish put forward by
their Town and Country
Planning Department
under the title of "Plan-
ning for Development:
Chaguaramas" must even-
tually be scrapped..
ECO One, backed by

the Trinidad Field Naturalists'
Club, told Government this,
for free, at the Chaguaramas
Public Enquiry back in
January 1974. All they got
for their public spirited con-
cern and guts was
ostracisation from their
opportunist colleagues and
discrimination from. PNM
stalwarts and power-wielding
It has taken a Multi-
National Consultancy, of all
things, in this day and age of
independence, to reluctantly
admit that the result of our
Town and Country Planners'
labours the elitist Land Use
Plan for the. North West
Peninsula is a malformed
document conceived by an
archaic method of planning.
Not only that. but it is
well on the cards, and ECO
One will take on any bets,
that the MNC of Llewellyn
Davies and Weeks, the British
twon planners of 'Joint
Venture', with their many
faceted, worldwide interests,
will be powerful and

sensible enough to tell the
Trinidad and Tobago Govern-
ment where to put this
abhorrent Land Use Plan.
This plan, incidentally, is
now law, but can be auto-
cratically changed and mani-
pulated by the Minister as it
may "appear to him to be
Let us see how far this
Government interprets ex-
Being a collection of
factual statistics, there is, not
a great deal to comment
upon in the Chaguaramas
Development Authority's
present Exhibition of progress
to date, the end of the so-
called Phase. 1.


And so there shouldn't
be, with a firm like Llewellyn
Davies and Weeks involved.
The day ECO One was in-
vited, the Chairman of the
Authority, the so-called
Architects of the Consultant
Group and, of all people,

ul, -v. -llllillN L I UPI- AI LtUiIIII
of Town and Country Plan-
ning, were conspicuous by
their absence.
But nevertheless, the ex-
planation and discussion led
by Mr. Ryman of Llewellyn
Davies and Weeks was com-
petently handled.
One did however wonder
why it had taken the expen-
sive expertise of such a vast
organisation to put together,
in run-of-the-mill diagrams,
statistics and background
that were always available in
The prettily coloured
charts were simply some of
the homework that the Min-
ister. and his Department
should have done before last
January when they had the
effrontery to present to the
country Johnny O'Halloran's
real estate bonanza.
The apologetic position
cleverly given to our own
Town and Country Planning
Department's Land Use Plan
amongst all the other draw-
ings only accented the
obvious embarrassment it

must be causing the MNC
They tried to convince us,
with British tongue in British
diplomatic cheek, that this
infamous Land Use Plan, as
a legal document, must be
the starting point of their
work, but it was so blatantly
a case of putting the cart
before the horse that no one
was fooled.
The Exhibition.of Progress
to date, which is the basis of
the much advertised perma-
ment but changing public
relations venture, could be
faulted on a few points.
Although Mr. Ryman assured
ECO One that all such aspects
were anticipated for the next
phase of work, we must
repeat our criticisms in order
to ensure that these foreign
consultants do in fact realise
the depth of the-significance
of this nationally important
and beautiful -area.
"The Road -to Indepen-
dence lies through Chaguara-
mas", said Eric Williams in
1960. But. as usual with any

01 LI C 'rn.UVU111U 1rr rrr~r-1 fll
the relationship and inter-
dependehce of' the North
West Peninsula to the struc-
ture of the National and
Regional Physical Plan is of
course missing.
ECO One seems to be
forever raising this perennial
planning anachronism see
our East Port-of-Spain ordeal.


We were told that the
National Plan actually exists
and that the Chaguaramas
Consultants had seen it. We
Trinidadians are not aware
of this and we are not con-
vinced that it is a reality..
They surely cannot mean
that effete window dressing
and expensively produced
blurb called "The National
Framework" recently pub-
lished by the Town and
Country Planning Depart-
If so, let us have a good
public debate on that un-
believably mediocre and
utterly incompetent pie-in-

the-sky. But that's another
And if this Exhibition
marks the completion of the
preparatory surveys for this
twenty odd square miles how
is it that 'Joint Venture' have
not interviewed any of the
bodies who were committed
enough to the area and
their country to. give evi-
dence at the Public Enquiry?
Haven't they even heard
of the Back To Chaguaramas
Action Committee and the
hundreds of displaced and
dispossessed farmers and
fishermen? Aren't they, as
Professionals, interested in
the legality of the Chaguara-
mnas operation?


Mr. Ryman's answer was
that they take instructions
from their Clients but
surely any professional, draw-
ing fees, must be assured, for
their Client's sake, that all is
legally in order.
Haven't 'Joint Venture'
for instance. researched the

conditions uniier wiicl7 t1 e
Chaguaranias lands are occui-
pied by Hunter Smith Docks,
Glastron, Chagacabana Hotel,
The Yachting Association
Chagville, Bowen Boats, The
Convention Centre, The
Island Property Owners As-
sociation etc etc? They must
have enquired into these
activities in order to deter-
mine the various planning
Well, are not the 3,000
people involved in the Back
To Chaguaramas Action Com-
mittee temporarily squat-
ting in Carenage included
in this category?
What of the various Social
Scientists involved in such an
important development exer-
cise? The various Sociological
and Anthropogical disciplines?
The specialised Economists
and Historians? The Ecolo-
gists, the Agriculturalists., the
this and thatists?
And we don't necessarily
mean those specialising in
Trinidad and Tobago alone.
What of the North West
Peninsula within the Carib-

bean/Latin America Struc-
There is no evidence what-
soever at this completion
of the survey Phase that any
of these have been con-
sidered. And yet a lot of play
has been made over ridiculous
alternative road routes into
the area and hypothetical
costs of developing residen-
tial land at this stage of
the game?
And then there is of course
the Tourist Sell-out. ECO
One has expounded at length
on this in their January 1974
representation, and luckily,
with the appearance of being
reasonably well-informed, Mr.
Ryman of Llewellyn Davies
and Weeks is aware of ECO
One's stand on the vexed
After all, Trinidad and
Tobago is not unique in this
subtle expression of econ-
omical and cultural neo-
colonialism. The problem is
And then there's the
Agriculture. with which Mr.

ymnan was not so well
informed. Agrarian Reform is
no new concept in this hemis-
phere, and the Caribbean -
apart from Cuba has still
to establish its stand; but
the planned expansion of the
present massive latifundio of
Government/German mono-
poly is surely not the answer.
As long as the Govern-
ment whichever one is then
in power realises the folly
of the existing "Planning For
Development of Chaguara-
mas" (and it will most likely
be up to Llewellyn Davies
and Weeks to tell them this)
and as long as our brothers
and sisters who rightly own
the area are recognized and
humanly treated, we may yet
see ECO One applauding the
Plan and even adding our
own dollarsworth.
But until then we are not
going to compromise one
inch. We are watching the
situation for the ordinary
people of Trinidad and
Tobago, those now living and
those yet to come, and we
will prevail.


8am. -6pm.

8am -7pm









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